If you own a truck, you know, and very likely love, the tailgate. A new company is trying to make this much-celebrated truck part a little better.
The Gear Gate is a replacement tailgate for pickup trucks that can pack a bunch of functions into a space that has seen relatively few changes in more than 70 years.
Made by Oregon-based company Hoodworks (and also manufactured in Oregon), the concept of the Gear Gate is to offer truck owners various tailgate configurations that will allow trucks to accomplish more with this under-utilized space.
This is a very new brand, and has just launched its first model, the bike-carrying Cycling Comp. Future designs will address the needs of many outdoors sports, such as hunting, fishing, motor-sports and camping, according to brand spokesman Matthew Bader.
- Universal Bike (UB) shaft for open dropout and thru-axle bikes.
- Internal and external LED truck bed lighting
- 18 feet of Extreme Conditions square link lock chain from Pewag
- Two integrated bottle openers
- Nanuk 910 medium conditions-proof heavy duty toolbox
- Dual tactical-grade handles with OEM latches
- Handmade steel and aluminum tube & panel construction
- Made in Portland, Oregon, with all-American components.
“The tailgate is a big empty space,” Bader said. “We look at it as a Leatherman, or a multi-tool. Our first six months were spent figuring out how to utilize that space.”
With the Cycling Comp, users get a tailgate upon-which they can mount three bicycles — either with quick release forks or 15mm through-axles. A hefty locking chain comes with the product, which also has rear- and front-facing LED lighting, a secure storage compartment, and the obligatory bottle opener.
Tailgate As Gear
It’s worth reiterating that Gear Gate is in very early stages of development. The brand is still finalizing products, and searching for feedback from consumers about what kinds of utility they’d want in a tailgate.
The brand is investigating possible modular configurations that would allow the user to switch functionality for different sports. Possible features could include water reservoirs, air compressors, and power washers. Carrying capacity could be added for a wide range of sporting equipment, from surfboards to firearms to fishing rods.
“In long term, we’re not trying to be a custom company,” Bader said. “But in the short term, we want to try out every possible iteration of features. We do want to do some custom work. We are absolutely into that in the short term.”
Custom Tailgate Cost, Compatible Trucks
The original Gear Gate Cycling Comp is expected to retail for about $1,800. While certainly not cheap, the company said it is aiming its pricing to be competitive with rack systems as well as truck add-ons, like custom bumpers and wheels.
As an American-made, high quality product, the price seems fair, albeit a significant investment.
For now, it is available for full sized GM / Chevy trucks from 2014 to present, Dodge Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 from 2009 to present, Ford F-150 from 2009 to present, and Ford Superduty from 2015 and later.
We’ve yet to see these in person, but love the idea of adding utility to a pickup tailgate. Could we see a built-in grill? Maybe a beer dispenser? How about back-rests for reclining in the truck in comfort? Who knows, but for now it’s cool to know a brand is researching those questions and more.